Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
December 24
Live Zoom Service
at 7:00 pm

Please click here to join the Live Zoom Christmas Eve Service,

OR

Go to Zoom.us, click on "Join a Meeting," then enter the following:
Meeting ID: 878 3385 3826
Password: 332902
Once the service begins, please mute your microphones so as to not accidentally disturb others. Thank you!
Pre-recorded Online Service
posted by 5:00 pm
Order of Worship
BOLD indicates congregational SPEAKING participation
Gathering as the Body of Christ

Welcome Remarks


Call to Worship      
Liturgist: We look for light but find darkness, For brightness, but walk in gloom.
People: We grope like those who have no eyes; We stumble at noon as in the twilight.
Liturgist: If I say, "Let only darkness cover me, And the light about me be night,"
People: Even the darkness is not dark to you, The night is bright as the day. For darkness is as light with you.
Liturgist: Blessed be your name, O God, for ever. You reveal deep and mysterious things;
People: You are light and in you is no darkness. Our darkness is passing away and already the true light is shining. 
(United Methodist Hymnal #205)


O Come, All Ye Faithful”
UMH #234 (vs. 1, 2,3)

1. O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold him, born the King of angels;
 
Refrain:
O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,
O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
 
2. True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal,
lo, he shuns not the Virgin's womb;
Son of the Father, begotten not created;
(Refrain)
 
3. Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;
(Refrain)

Lighting of the Christ
Leader: Our waiting is over. The day we have waited for so long is upon us.
  ALL: As Mary felt the stirrings of a child, Jesus, within her, so
            we have felt the stirrings of new life within us during these days.
Leader: With our Advent candles of hope, peace, love, and joy, tonight we light the  Christ candle. This candle symbolizes the Light of God which was in Christ.  It has shone through the years and continues to shine in our hearts.
  ALL: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: those
  who dwelt in the land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
Leader:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the   Word was God. Messiah. King. Savior. Emmanuel. Word made flesh. Light of the world. Lord. We know Jesus by all these names and many others. We light the Christ candle in celebration of his birth, and of the hope, joy, love, and peace he brings to us  and to the whole world. No one has ever seen God, but in Jesus Christ God is made known.
(John 1:1)

 “O Little Town of Bethlehem"
UMH #230 (vs. 1 & 4)
 
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;
above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
 
O Holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels, but in this world of sin,
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
 
 
A Christmas Prayer
Gracious God, with joy and thanksgiving we gather as your people. We have come to hear again the timeless story of Christ's birth. In the excitement of this night, quiet our hearts that we may know the peace and fullness of this holy time. Shine, O Light, in the darkness of our world. Sing, O angels, in the stillness of our hearts, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those God favors." This we pray in the name of the Child of Bethlehem. Amen.
 
 
“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"
UMH #218 (vs. 1& 4)

It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old,
From Angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to men, from heaven’s all gracious king.” The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.
 
For lo! The days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old,
When with the ever circling years shall come the time foretold
When peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendor fling,
And the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.
 
THE CHRISTMAS STORY
Christmas Shadowbox Theater Play by Sunday School Students
 
“Joy to the World” 
UMH #246 (1,4)
 
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing,
 
He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders, wonders of his love,

Message
"Fear and Joy in the Dark Night" 
Pastor Seok-Hwan

Message in Music
In the Bleak Midwinter”
Rossetti and Holst
Brianna Ryder, vocalist, and Mark Beatty, guitarist

Offertory Prayer
Most gracious God, thank you for sending Jesus to be the Savior of the world. You fulfilled your promises in astounding ways! He is your greatest gift to humankind. People around the world see Christmas decorations and wonder about the significance of Jesus. Let our congregation serve as faithful witnesses of your love through our words and actions. Use our gifts and offerings to bring the light of Christ to people who long for your grace. We pray in the beautiful name of Jesus. Amen. (Isaiah 62:6-12)

 “The First Noel” 
UMH #245 (vs. 1,2 & 3)

The first Noel the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the king of Israel.
 
They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the king of Israel.
 
And by the light of that same star
three Wise Men came from country far;
to seek for a king was their intent,
and to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the king of Israel.

The Lighting of the Candles
[At this moment, please extinguish the lights at your room. In order for us to appreciate the light we linger in the darkness for a moment by covering your computer or phone. The darkness symbolizes our experiences of pandemics, wars, famines, economic hardship, hopelessness, despair, hurt and pain, grief and death. After sitting in the darkness, the pastor will read a short bible passage, the parent brings the candlelight into your room and lights the candle to the family members, while all sing “Silent Night, Holy Night.”)

 “Silent Night, Holy Night”   
  UMH #239 (1,2,3,4)
[Zoom Service: Pastor Seok-Hwan and family]
[Online Service: Recording from 2018 Christmas Eve Service]

1. Silent night, holy night,
all is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin
mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.
 
2. Silent night, holy night,
shepherds quake at the sight;
glories stream from heaven afar,
heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!
 
3. Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light;
radiant beams from thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
 
4. Silent night, holy night,
wondrous star, lend thy light;
with the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!
 
The Blessing and Sending Forth


Zoom Servers
Liturgist: Bev Welsh
Organist: Matt Cron

Online Servers
Liturgist: Bev Welsh
Video: Mark Beatty
Our Mission Statement
“God calls us to be disciples of Jesus, building community through service and fellowship and sharing the love of Christ with all.”

Our Openness Statement
“The United Methodist Church of Westford is an open and welcoming community of Christian Faith. Without any exceptions, we welcome anyone who seeks to love and to serve God.”
Please click here for “A Statement of Our Openness”.